High E.L.F



Enhanced Life Form

"They are a warped species. Twisting any civilized sense of grace and human understanding of aesthetics. Yet there is nothing horrific about them. Alien, yes, but objectively they are impressive, striking. Assured in themselves and majestic in all activities: no matter how urgent or mundane, virtues or vile.”

The first in a series of commissions done by amaet.


I love Elves and in this series attempt to give them a look that makes them far more distinguishable from humanity. In most cases you can probably tell the bestial visage of an orc or the squat brick-like nature of a dwarf from a distance yet often you could just mistake an elf for an attractive human.

I’ve got a lot to say on Elves but I’ll pace it out over the series as to not end up with a (bigger) wall of text. So this time around I’ll be addressing some inspirations and the general look.

Perhaps my first encounter with non-standard Elves came in animated Rankin/ Bass production of The Hobbit. There was nothing pretty about the wood elves but their fae-like edge grasped my attention. Blue withered skin, lanky appendages, large bublus eyes: primitive clothing. It might honestly predate my experience with the pointy eared blonds. While I would adopt none of these features I do feel they set a precedent.

As I sit here with a dragon magazine, I can tell you D&D also once grasped the concept of having an otherness to elves. Taking it back to that Fair Folk unease was a priority. Cinematic Hellboy I felt did a good job on that part and Magic the Gathering has a fairly good track record. But the two main inspirations are unsurprisingly Warhammer (both Classic and 40k) and Warcraft.

Warhammer is rather interesting in that even in official art its very likely the artist will forgo the noted differences in facial structures and just give pointy ears (especially rampant when it comes to females). In fact this has only gotten worse over time, particularly in the case of 40k.

Warcraft, I like to think developed their Elves’ characteristic due to the need to distinguish them from a distance since the player had a god’s eye view instead of up close and personal. So in order to know an Elf has pointy ears, you need to extend those ears until recognizable from a blimp. It was actually a rather hard decision whether or not to incorporate the iconic extended eyebrows into the look. I know they can be comical at times but I honestly believe they’re the most distinguishing feature since pointed ears. Ultimately I decided that lack of facial hair was just a bit more an E.L.F’s ally.

For those who may remember, yes this is the intended design of my last Elf picture. You might also pick up a bit of a pop-culture Grey Alien vibe and that’s also intentional due to how Elves work in this setting.

With all that being said the point was to take Elves known features an turn them up to 11 till they really were their own thing. To that end:

Extending the neck

Extending the cranium.

Extending the face.

Curving the eyes.

Facial Tattoos. In the case of High Elves, geometric patterns.

As a High Elf, their are some particular features:

Not only is the skin pale but to the point of almost being see-through, which if you squint you can even see the orange blood running through the veins.

Extending the ears, but also having them face forward and elongating the ear lobes.

Having a cranial gem known as an Akashic Eye. Its incredibly important to the design to note that its not on the forehead but instead on top of the scalp. A oval cranial object is a universal standard for all elves and be advised that this is a female so that goes for them as well. In the case of High Elves, these mysterious items are always crystalline in nature.

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Waiting for 3 more votes

Mar 18, 2019
2:18 AM EDT
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2304 x 3955 px
198 KB

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